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MLA style

The MLA (Modern Language Association) referencing style guidance below has been cited from: Pears, R. & Shields, G. (2016) Cite them right: the essential referencing guide, 10th ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.


Important:

The MLA has published more recent guidelines. Check with your tutor or lecturer to see if they have a specific MLA Handbook edition preference.

 

Click on the appropriate header below to expand the section and find information about how to cite a particular source in an MLA style. Please note your school may have specific referencing requirements; to ensure you are using the preferred referencing style please check with your school office.

 

In-text citations

Generally, when using the MLA style an in-text citation requires only the name of the author(s) and the page number (with no punctuation between the two items).

Placement of citation:

Whenever possible, place citation at the end of a sentence (before the concluding punctuation).

Example:

...as one writer put it "the darkest days were still ahead" (Weston 45).

Alternatively, the author's surname may be integrated into the text, followed immediately by page number(s) in brackets.

Example:

Scholtz (564) has argued that...

Works with more than four authors:

If you need to reference a work written by four or more authors, write the first author's name followed by et al.

Example:

Edwards, L. et al (76) reports...

Unknown author:

If the author's name is unknown you should give a shortened title of the article, book or webpage.

Example:

the worst election loss in the party's history (The Age 2)...

Referring to works quoted within other works:

You may want to refer to a work that you haven't actually read, but which has been summarised or discussed in somebody else's work.

Example:

The work of Oliver (see Kogut 33) is very interesting

*Note: only include original work references that you read in the list of references at the end of your work; you cannot include details about original studies if you have not read them.


List of works cited

MLA referencing style requires you to list "works cited" in alphabetical order at the end of your work; this is your reference list. References listed in your "List of Works Cited" that contain two or more lines should be indented by half an inch (1.3cm).

Omit sources that are not directly cited in your text, and instead list them in the form of a footnote or endnote. You must use superscript numbers for footnotes.



Book

Citation order and format

Author Surname, Forename. Title of book.  ed.* Place of publication: Publisher, year of publication. Medium.

*only include if not the first edition

Example:

Gombrich, E. H. The Story of Art. 13th ed. Oxford: Phaidon, 1978. Print.

Edited book

Citation order and format

Author of the chapter/section- Surname, Forename. “Title of chapter/ section.” Title of book. editor(s) name(s) ed(s). Place of publication: Publisher, year of publication, page numbers. [Medium.]

Example:

Kwint, Marius, Christopher Breward, and Jeremy Aynsley, eds. Material Memories. Oxford: Berg, 1999, 27-52. Print.

 

More than 3 authors

Citation order and format

Author Surname, Forename et al. Title of book.  ed.* Place of publication: Publisher, year of publication. Medium.

*only include if not the first edition

Example:

Gibbons, Michael, et al. The New Production of Knowledge: The Dynamics of Science and Research in Contemporary Societies. London: Sage, 1994. Print.

 

Unknown author

Citation order and format

Title of book.  ed.* Place of publication: Publisher, year of publication. Medium.

*only include if not the first edition

Example:

Encyclopedia of Paper-Folding Designs. Tokyo: P.I.E., 2001. Print.

 

Scholarly edition (e.g. a classic edited by someone other than the author)


Example:

Eliot, George. Daniel Deronda. Ed. Barbara Hardy. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1967. Print.

Translation

Citation order and format

Author Surname, Forename. Title of book.  Trans. Translators forename surname. Place of publication: Publisher, year of publication. Medium.

Example:

Barthes, Roland. The Fashion System. Trans. Matthew Ward and Richard Howard. New York: Hill and Wang, 1983. Print.


Chapter in book

Citation order and format

Author of the chapter/section- Surname, Forename. “Title of chapter/ section.” Title of book. Name of editor of book - preceded by Ed. Place of Publication: Publisher, year of publication, page numbers. Medium.

Example:

Frank, Barbara E. "Ceramics as Testaments of the Past: Field Research and Making Objects Speak." Museums in the Material World. Ed. Simon Knell. London: Routledge, 2007. 60-64. Print.



eBook

When referencing e-books, include all the details as for a print book. You also need to include the name of the platform (MyiLibrary, Project Gutenberg, Google Books, etc) and the date you accessed the e-book.

Citation order and format

Author Surname, Forename. Title of book. ed* Place of publication: Publisher, year of publication. Name of database or collection. Web. Date month (abbreviated) year.

Example:

Lapsley, Robert and Michael Westlake. Film Theory: An Introduction. 2nd ed. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2006. MyiLibrary. Web. 12 Feb. 2012.

*only include if not the first edition

If you have used an e-book reader such as a Kindle, put "Kindle file" in your reference in place of "Web". If the place of publication has not been given, you can omit it from your reference. You do not need to include the accessed date.

Example:

Duncan, Carol. Civilizing Rituals: Inside Public Art Museums. Routledge-Taylor and Francis, 2005. Kindle file.

*Note: If the e-book is divided into stable numbered sections/chapters, the section/chapter number can be used in the citation. For example: ...... (Duncan, ch. 2).


Journals

Citation order and format

Author Surname, Forename. “Title of article.” Title of journal. volume number. issue number (year of publication): page numbers. [Medium.]

Example:

Klepp, Ingun Grimstad. "Slimming Lines." Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture. 15.4 (2011): 451-80. Print.


Magazine articles

Citation order and format

Author Surname, Forename. “Title of article.” Title of magazine. volume number and issue number. Date, month (abbreviated) year of publication: page numbers [Medium.] Add a date if accessed online.

Example:

Blackburn, Simon. "You are not helpful!" London Review of Books 29 Jan. 2009: 17-18. [Print].

*Note: For a weekly or biweekly magazine, include the day but leave out the volume and issue number. For online magazines, use the same format above, but add an access date to the end of the reference.


Articles in online collections

If you have accessed the journal article using an online source such as JSTOR or from a publisher's site such as Sage, you need to include this in your reference. You also need to include "Web" and the accessed date.

Citation order and format

Author Surname, Forename. “Title of article." Title of journal volume number. issue number (year of publication): page numbers. Name of the collection. Web. date month (abbreviated), year accessed.

Example:

Byrde, Margaretta. "Jane Austen." The Sewanee Review, 32.3(1924): 280-94. JSTOR. Web. 25 Jan. 2017.


Web page

Citation order and format

Author Surname, Forename. Title of web page, year that the site was published/last updated. Web. Date month (abbreviated) year accessed. URL

Example:

Jane, Lady. Jane Austin's Fiction Manuscripts, 2012. Web. 14 Mar. 2012. http://www.janeausten.ac.uk/manuscripts/lady_susan/Front_(left)_board.html


Film + Television + YouTube

Film

Citation order and format

Title of film. Dir. Forename, Surname. Perf. Names of principal performers Forename, Surname. Distributor, Year of release. Film.

Example:

Macbeth. Dir. Orson Wells. Perf. Orson Welles. Republic Pictures, 1948. Film.

Films on DVD

Citation order and format

Title of film. Dir. Forename, Surname. Perf. Names of principal performers Forename, Surname. Distributor, Year of release. DVD.

Example:

The English Patient. Dir. Anthony Minghella. Perf. Ralph Fiennes. Buena Vista Home Video, 1996. DVD.

Television

Citation order and format

“Title of episode.” Title of programme. Broadcaster or network. Date. abbreviated month. year of publication. Television.

Example:

"Wind Turbines." The Nuclear Age. ITV, 16. June. 2009. Television.

iPlayer or Broadcast Box

Citation order and format

“Title of episode.” Title of programme. Broadcaster or network. Date. abbreviated month. year of publication. Box of Broadcasts. date. abbreviated month. year accessed.

Example:

"Time & Entropy." Wonders of the Universe: Destiny. BBC2. 6. March. 2011. Box of Broadcasts. Web. 15 Oct. 2011.

YouTube

Citation order and format

Name of person posting video. Title of video. Name of Website. [YouTube] date. abbreviated month. Year. video was posted. Web. date. abbreviated month. year accessed.

Example:

Shakespeare animated. BBC Shakespeare Animated Tales: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Part 2. 2008. YouTube. Web. 12 May 2011.


Government document

Citation order and format

Country or state. Corporate author. Title. Place of publication: Publisher, year of publication. Print.

Example:

Great Britain. Home Office. Criminal Statistics, England and Wales 2001. London: HMSO, 2002. Print.


Newspapers

Print newspaper article

Citation order and format

Author Surname, Forename. “Article Title." Newspaper title [City] date month year printed: issue number. Print.

Example:

Godfrey, Miles. "Global Warming Blamed as Venomous Spider Nibbles Shocked Window Cleaner." Argus [Brighton] 9 July 2008: 4. Print.

*Note: always omit the "The" in newspaper titles/names, e.g. "The Argus" becomes "Argus".


Online newspaper article

Citation order and format

Author Surname, Forename. “Article title.” Newspaper title. date printed in the following format: date month (abbreviated) year: issue number. Web. date accessed in the following format: day month (abbreviated) year.

Example:

Brown, Mark. "Read All About It: How Gilbert & George Stole the Headlines and Made Art." Guardian, 8 Mar. 2012. Web. 12 Mar. 2012.


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